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Accomplice to murder charges filed in South Point shootout

  • JUSTIN WAIKI
  • JORGE PAGAN-TORRES
  • KRYSTLE FERREIRA

Three individuals arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting fugitive Justin Waiki, who was killed by police Friday in a shootout on South Point Road, are facing charges that could put them behind bars for the rest of their lives, if convicted.

Jorge Pagan-Torres, 35, of Hilo, Malia Lajala, 30, of Hilo, and Krystle Ferreira, 29, of Waimea, were charged today with accomplice to attempted first-degree murder, accomplice to illegally carrying a revolver and first-degree hindering prosecution.

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In addition, Pagan-Torres was charged with two counts of violating probation and Lajala was charged with two counts of promoting a dangerous drug in the third-degree.

Police say all were in a Toyota 4Runner sport-utility vehicle that was involved in the shootout with the Hawaii Police Department’s Special Response Team — the department’s SWAT unit, after being stopped at a checkpoint on South Point Road at about 2:45 p.m. Friday.

According to police, Waiki, the subject of a massive manhunt for allegedly shooting Officer Bronson Kaliloa to death Thursday night in Mountain View, was hiding under a blanket inside the rear lift-gate of the sport-utility vehicle, which was registered to Ferreira’s parents and driven by Pagan-Torres.

Waiki reportedly shot an SRT sergeant who opened the lift gate with a stolen .38-caliber revolver in the chest and arm.

Other officers then returned fire and fatally shot Waiki and struck another woman in the SUV, who has not been named.

The sergeant, a 12-year-police veteran, was said in a Saturday statement by police Maj. Robert Wagner to be “recovering nicely” at Hilo Medical Center.

The woman struck by gunfire received a gunshot wound and broken femur and was also being treated at Hilo Medical Center.

Detectives confiscated the SUV and executed a search warrant on it. According to police, officers recovered numerous rounds of unspent ammunition, 0.9 grams of a black tar-like substance suspected to be heroin, 0.1 grams of a crystalline substance suspected to be methamphetamine and about $620 in cash.

The handgun allegedly used by Waiki was recovered, as well.

Pagan-Torres, Lajala and Ferreira are all being held without bail at Kealakehe police station and are scheduled for their initial appearances Monday morning in Kona District Court.

The accomplice to attempted first-degree murder charge carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole upon conviction.

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Anyone with information about to this case is asked to contact Detective Jerome Manuel at 326-4646 ext. 262 or Jerome.Manuel@hawaiicounty.gov. Those who prefer anonymity can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.